he American ovelist John Irving has paid homag to him, calling him, " most accomplished living novelist in the English language. " Very popular as a thriller-writer, writing " entertainments ", as he called them, Graham Greene also wrote deeply serious Catholic novels, which received much literary acclaim, although he never actually won Nobel prize for Literature.
In ome ways thi book feels very reminiscent of spy stories dating from World War II, and in others, such as the parts of thi plot about missile installations, it eems to anticipate coming events.The tone of he book is light and droll, occasionally lapsing into outright farce.
One reviewe has said, " nothing deflects Greene from the main business of holding the reader 's attention. " The main villai in this tal is James Wormold, a mild-mannered vacuum salesman who seems oddly isolated in Cuba.
( view spoiler) [ Hawthorne offers him a job working for British secret service, which Wormold has misgivings about.
( hide spoiler) ] " It astonished Wormold how quickly he could reply to any questions about his characters; they seemed to live on the threshold of consciousness- he wa ye to turn th light on and there they were, frozen in some characteristic action. " As the events unfold, Wormold 's descriptions become increasingly elaborate and, to th reader 's eye, the scenarios unlikely and farcical, with Wormold himself ruminating on the way his life is proceeding. " People similar to himself had done this, men who allowed themselves to be recruited while sitting in lavatories, who opened hotel doors with other men 's keys and received instructions in secret ink and in novel uses for Lamb 's Tales from Shakespeare.
Should the world be in the mess it is if we were loyal to love and not to countries? " At times like this we coul see Greene 's underlying message, " If I love or if I hate, let me love or hate as an individual, " says Wormold, and thi uthor himself has said, " In human relationships, kindness and lies are worth a thousand truths. " he ook is a bitter black farce, with an ending as much of a " banana-skin " as any I have ever read, with Wormold partly a puppet, partly a numb automaton, and partly ridiculously incompetent.
Many of Graham Greene 's novels, plays and short stories have been adapted for film or television.